Three terror attacks hit the cities of Jaffa, Jerusalem and Petah Tikvah within an hour and a half on Tuesday afternoon and early evening, with one person murdered and 14 wounded.
A 29-year-old American tourist, Taylor Force, from Lubbock, Texas, was murdered and eleven others were wounded, three of them seriously, in a terror attack at the Jaffa Port area early Tuesday evening. Force was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University.
The terrorist, a 22-year-old Palestinian from Qalqilya, was shot to death by a police force that arrived at the scene.
The terrorist arrived at the Jaffa Port, where he stabbed several people. He then turned right, running towards the Clocktower Circle, then turned left and continued running hundreds of meters north along the boardwalk towards the Manta Ray restaurant, stabbing others as he went.
US Vice President Joe Biden was in the area at the time of the attack – visiting the Peres Center for Peace located approximately 2 kilometers from where the first stabbing occurred.
The Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv confirmed one victim, a 29-year-old American tourist, arrived at the hospital dead, and one other was being treated in the trauma unit in critical condition. The tourist’s wife was severely injured in the attack, Ynetnews reported.
Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital said it received six victims, one in critical condition, two in moderate condition and two suffering from lighter wounds. The hospital’s medical director confirmed that one of the victims was a pregnant woman. Another of the victims was an Arab Israeli — Jaffa is a mixed city with a sizable Arab population — and one a Palestinian man who was residing in Israel illegally, Channel 2 reported.
Following the attack in Jaffa, the Israel Police decided to increase its presence and operations in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
It was the third serious attack of the day, coming on the heels of a stabbing in Petah Tikva and a shooting in Jerusalem.
One Israeli man was injured on Petah Tikva’s central Brosh Street when a Palestinian assailant followed him into a shop and stabbed him several times in the upper body. The victim managed to remove the knife from his neck and used it to stab and kill his attacker, aided by the store owner, police said.
Minutes later, two Israeli Border Police officers were seriously injured, with one of them described as “critical,” in a drive-by shooting attack on Salah a-Din Street, near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. The gunman, riding a motorcycle, opened fire at the officers, striking one in the head. As he attempted to escape the scene, security forces engaged him in a firefight, during which he shot the second officer, police said. The shooter was killed.
The Hamas terror group released a statement praising the attacks as “heroic operations” and saying they prove that the wave of violence that began in October has not ended.
“Hamas celebrates the martyrs that have ascended through these operations, and confirms that their pure blood will, God willing, be the fuel for escalating the intifada,” the group wrote on its website.
Before Tuesday, twenty-nine Israelis and three foreign nationals had been killed in a wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence since October.